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Undergraduate Research In A Foreign Country: A Student’s Experience

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Exchange/Joint Programs in Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1360.1 - 11.1360.7



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Paper Authors


Christina Osborn IUPUI

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Christina Osborn is a senior Interior Design student at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Christina participated in the first GO GREEN course in the summer of 2003. She spent 5 weeks in Germany summer 2005 working on her research project. She has a special focus in green products and materials. Christina has studied industrial uses of hemp while she was in Germany.

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Patricia Fox IUPUI

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Patricia Fox is the Associate Dean for Administration and Finance and Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In addition to her administrative duties, Pat teaches various courses in the Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision. Pat currently serves as the Chair of the Engineering Technology Council (ETC) for American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and serves on the Board of Directors of the ASEE as well. She is one of the instructors of the GO GREEN course and has taught several summers at the Berufsakademie Mannheim. She holds an MBA from Butler University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Undergraduate Research in a Foreign Country: A Student’s Experience


This paper will describe the preparation, experiences, and outcomes of an undergraduate student conducting research in a foreign country mentored by two professors, one foreign and the other from the home institution. A description of the partnership between the two institutions will be presented as well as the successes and challenges of the project and the future implications for other undergraduate students repeating the same type of program.


In 2002, several faculty in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), collaborated to offer a short study abroad multidisciplinary course in Mannheim, Germany titled, “GO GREEN - Green Organizations: Global Responsibility for Environmental and Economic Necessity.” This study abroad course was designed to teach engineering and technology students three important fundamental topics; sustainability, globalization, and cultures. The course examines sustainable development in business and industry using best practices in Germany as examples. International companies visited are used as examples for analyzing and understanding the interconnectedness of globalization. Living in a different country for a short period of time is used for comparing and contrasting differences and similarities in a different culture.

The emphasis of the GO GREEN course explores the areas of sustainable design, engineering, manufacturing, technology, and leadership processes implemented and maintained in business and industry for the purpose of being environmentally and socially responsible, energy efficient, and cost effective. This course also looks at the complex interactions of costs versus environmental safety and social responsibility in decision making models sometimes called eco- efficiency models used in industries that are actively practicing sustainable development.

The GO GREEN course focuses on the sustainable practices of business and industry in Germany and the impact of those practices locally, nationally, and globally. Students are able to witness sustainable practices in industry first hand. Throughout the last four years the course has been offered, the IUPUI faculty have partnered with the following German companies and institutions, most of which, are centrally located around Mannheim, Germany; ABB, BASF, MVV Energie, DaimlerChrysler, Bodensee-Wasserversorgung (water company), Berufsakademie Mannheim, City of Freiburg, City of Landenburg, Fraunhofer Solar Institute, Freudenberg, SolarFabrik, and Magdeburg University of Applied Science. Most of the GO GREEN industry partners were established with the assistance of faculty from the Berufsakademie Mannheim, a co-operative education university in Mannheim, Germany. The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology and IUPUI have had a long relationship and partnership with the Berufsakademie Mannheim. The GO GREEN course and the partnerships

Osborn, C., & Fox, P. (2006, June), Undergraduate Research In A Foreign Country: A Student’s Experience Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1361

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015